Beijing – An imperial universe full of legends
Shen takes us on a tour of China's promised land with its architectural marvels. Predicted to be the most visited country on the planet by 2020, Beijing is a fast-changing metropolitan city made of the best of old and new.
♯ be inspired by architecture
One of the most distinctive buildings in Beijing city is the new CCTV Headquarters. Located in the Beijing Central Business District (CBD), the mega-structure designed by world-renowned Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas is an angled loop formed by two towers inclined at a 90° angle and leaning towards one another. Dubbed "Big Pants" by locals because of its avant-garde shape, it is definitely a must-see in Beijing.
♯ be inspired by eateries
Huguosi Delicacies features more than 80 authentic Beijing delicacies. One must-eat is "Dou Zhi", a bean soup with a unique taste. A truly unforgettable experience.
♯ be inspired by shopping
Taikoo Li Sanlitun, one of the capital's hottest fashion destinations. A place to shop, stroll and catch various art and sculpture installations, as well as simply being the coolest place to hang out. Take a break from your shopping session and immerse yourself into a world of unique artworks at the Parkview Green FangCaoDi.
♯ be inspired by spectacular views
Jingshan Park, a public park in the north of the Forbidden City. Reach the highest hill of the park for a magnificent panorama of the capital and exclusive views over the rooftops of the Forbidden City.
♯ be inspired by night-time
A famous scenic area, Houhai is renowned for its lake view, its lanterns and willows on the waterfront.
A hot spot highly praised for its nightlife, its lake shore has been converted into restaurants, bars, and cafes since the early 2000s. Amongst the 120 bars in the area, don't miss East Shore Live Jazz Café, the most famous jazz club in Beijing opened by legendary Chinese jazzman Liu Yuan. A comfortable and authentic jazz club hosting live bands from Wed-Sun.
♯ be inspired by nature
Within striking distance of the Summer Palace, the Fragrant Hills Park (Xiangshan Park) is a famous imperial garden, graced with spectacular scenery in fall when the maple leaves saturate the hillside with their blazing splashes of red. The park's highest point, Xianglu Peak (557 meters), offers panoramic views of the city.
♯ be inspired by Mido
My favorite is the COMMANDER CHRONOMETER LIMITED EDITION. The lines of its round case in satin-finished steel endow the Commander collection with an inimitable and immediately recognizable silhouette. A symbol of robustness and excellence reflecting Mido's watchmaking expertise, just like the design inspiration of the Eiffel Tower.
A globetrotter, best-selling writer who enjoys good eating around the globe, as well as a TV host and DJ, Shen Wei is well-known as a hotel food and wine columnist. Author of One Day, I Met the World and Enjoy In Europe, he has made the world his inspiration.
Your favourite time of day?
At dusk, I like the romantic and charming moment of its magical and surreal colors that make everything more intense.
With just one hour to spend in the city, what would you do?
I would go to Tiananmen Square to feel the city’s pulse and just watch the people passing by.
Which monument would you have loved to design in the city?
The Summer Palace in Haidian District. It is a record of history and the largest and best-preserved royal park in China, ranked amongst the World Heritage Sites by UNESCO since 1998.